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Nina Simone! & drinking at work again.

Ruth, one of the young ladies in our apartment building, sent out an open invitation to everyone to join her in her room around dinner. I stopped by later after taking out my garbage and figured I could socialize a bit. It was just Tara (from South Africa) and Ruth (from Spain) and myself. Later Maffe (from Panama) and Nina Simone (from Georgia and New York) stopped by. Yes, her name is really Nina Simone Grizzle. She lit up when I told her I love love love Nina Simone's voice. Yes, she was named for the famous singer. More about Nina Simone later.


Each of these young ladies is in their middle twenties. Being twice their age I could be any one of their fathers. Oddly enough I wasn’t out of place. It was great conversation. I enjoyed hearing their stories, hopes, and concerns. None of them have more than two years teaching experience. Both Maffe and Nina have entered the profession as interns last year and now are working full time in Pre-K. Ruth is a lower school counselor and Tara is a lower school art teacher. We shared experiences about China to this point. All of us have experienced some challenges with personal space, ordering food, and language barriers.


When I got back to my room I just had to listen to some Nina Simone. When “Feeling good” was playing I focused on the lyrics and they really hit home.


Birds flying high

You know how I feel

Sun in the sky

You know how I feel

Breeze driftin' on by

You know how I feel

It's a new dawn

It's a new day

It's a new life…For me

And I'm feeling good

I'm feeling good


I played it twice. And then again. It applies. I am feeling good. I'm feeling good about my choice to come here. I’ve been in China for a month now. It’s a new life. I’m glad to be meeting everyone new. I’m happy to experiencing a new culture, foods, and work environment. And the thing is, it’s not like I had it bad at home. It’s not like this is better. It’s my attitude. I’m feeling good because of my choice to have a good attitude. Did I have to come to the other side of the planet to have a good attitude? No, but it’s something I’ve struggled with at times in the past. How do we face adversity? Do we really get to choose our response in any given situation? Yeah, I think we do. A part of me hates admitting that because I’ve chosen poorly at times in the past. Live. Learn. Go forward.


Meetings again all day, but this might be very different than what I’ve experienced in the past. Our first activity today after hearing admin talk is labeled as The Amazing Race. No idea what’s up with that, but if we have to run in this heat and humidity I sense a revolt on the horizon. The afternoon activity looks like teams will be cooking dinner together. Another first for a staff meeting. I think it has major potential for bonding and possible shenanigans. I’ll report later tonight. Have to remember to get a picture.



Photo 1 from left to right: Fursey, me, David, Ana, Elaine, Avery, Ryan.


Photo 2: View from Fursey’s place down the river.


Wasted tired after a long day. Drinking too much wine during school events has an impact. Yeah, for someone in the states reading that it sounds weird, but I assure you it wasn’t here. A very cool vibe I can live with. I think getting drunk with staff members in the past at work might have been a good idea. I would have paid to see Durk and she who shall not be named downing a bottle of rum together at a school function.


We were separated into teams of 6 or 7 staff members and given a list of ingredients that we had to use. Thankfully Elaine was in our group. She had this crushed and directed traffic well. We had a lot of soldiers and she was our general. Lots of prep work to make a vegan stir fry and a fruit salad. Good times hitting a “wet market” ** , cooking, and then sharing our dishes with the entire staff back at the school. Again, lots of beer and wine. I approve of this message, and and so did Jaime C. He might’ve had a beer or ten.


** When I heard that we were going to a wet market I immediately had visions that were uncomfortable. I plan to write about that…tomorrow.





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Heresolong
Heresolong
23 ago 2022

" I could be any one of their fathers"


Might want to rephrase that to "I am old enough to be any one of their fathers". 🤣

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Mike Durkee
Mike Durkee
23 ago 2022

Oh, I'm sure you have heard who one the xfinity race and cup race in Watgen's Glenn --that pesky #5 driver--gotta respect the skills😫

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Mike Durkee
Mike Durkee
23 ago 2022

Uhm, yea.... well... just to put everyone's mind at ease--that ain't ever going to happen, not in this life or the next 12-just to be crystal clear. With that out of the way :) I'm 99.9% on board with the "Yeah, I think we do." about choosing how we react to a given situation. I know I've said this before but a very wise older staff member in college that was more of a mentor than a prof--said to me one time "If it ain't gonna matter in 10 years it doesn't matter" before that I was kid that we have all had in class that stressed about everything... now, well not so much--as far as I can tell the…


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Pretty wild that wine and beer is so prevalent at the school. I bet that is true in European countries. The U.S. is so uptight!

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